There’s a cliché floating around that greatly concerns me.
Now let me be clear. I wouldn’t call it a heresy. I think it’s simply a misunderstanding. But misunderstandings can become plagues if not snipped in the bud.
What I’m talking about is this idea that, as Christians, we are supposed to let our actions be the utmost testimony to the world. I recently read a couple articles about two NFL quarterbacks whom adhered to this dangerous attitude toward evangelism.
“I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since. Some players get more vocal about it … some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am.”
“——- will not stand on the bleachers and shout; but he will privately live that life consistently with Jesus. I love that about him.”
While such statements bear some truth, the attitude they exhibit is not completely Biblical. Here is why.
There is a constant theme throughout the Old and New Testaments that when believers are filled with God’s Spirit, they spoke His truth. Here are just a couple examples.
“Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said,” 1 Chronicles 12:18
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me … to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Isaiah 61:1-2 (later repeated by Jesus in Luke 4)
“But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Sprit, looked intently at him and said,” Acts 13:9
And Jesus, our Lord, is the paramount example.
“And Jesus, fill of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days being tempted by the devil … And Jesus answered,” Luke 4:1-2,4
The Bible is packed with countless other examples.
People loved Jesus when He would heal the sick; the crowds flocked to His presence when He fed them. But it was His words that separated the sheep from the goats. His verbal testimony is what provoked people to pick up stones to kill Him.
Paul wasn’t beheaded because he lived a private Christian life. The Apostle James wasn’t slaughtered by Herod’s sword because he attended church. Christians in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and India are not electrocuted, burned at the stake, and forced to watch the murder of their families simply because their behavior emits religion. Christ followers are martyred for their fearless proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is then echoed by their lifestyle as a cornerstone.
If our actions fail to support our words, we are hypocrites. If our words don’t overflow as a result of our salvation, then we need to evaluate if we are finding our satisfaction in God alone. We will naturally talk about what–or whom–we find joy in.
This timidity may very well be rooted in a buried, bashful fear of man. Such has been an enduring struggle in my life. I need to constantly ask myself if I’m seeking the approval of man over the approval of Yahweh.
Proverbs 29:25 says the fear of man is a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. I don’t like to share my faith. In fact, if I were to be blunt, I hate it. Naturally, I love the approval of man. I hate rejection. I hate the weird stigma that comes with not knowing how to start a “spiritual conversation. I am terrified of talking to people about the Gospel. I would much rather preach a message or hide behind my computer screen in a blog post. But Jesus’ Church is built on the blood of martyrs who unashamedly embraced persecution for proclaiming the Gospel. And for the rest of my life, I am going to have to make war against the flesh that desires the world’s recognition rather than hearing those words “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23).
The Bible is crystal clear. We must be bold in sharing the Gospel holistically. Souls hang in the balance.
Oh, trust me, I’m 110% for living a life that is “worthy of the calling we have received” (Ephesians 4:1). But our mission will never be complete until we speak for what we stand for.
Don’t allow crazy “preachers” at your college campus deceive you. There is a way to share your faith with others that doesn’t make you seem like a madman.
Let’s not succumb to this ineffectual attitude of American Christianity. It will prevent us from accomplishing what the Holy Spirit yearns to do in us.
“The world can do nothing to a Christian who has no fear of man. -Brother Yun”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? Any how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! … so faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:14-15, 17
Your Friend, D.Kim